WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. students entering the workforce are less competitive than students from peer nations.
An international exam measuring student achievement found that U.S. students' scores in math and reading did not improve over the past two decades.
The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), test results found the U.S. was slightly above average for reading ability, but below in math compared to peer nations.
The test also revealed a wider achievement gap between the highest and lowest-performing students.The test, which was administered to 15-year-olds, found that one-fifth of U.S. students at that age group could not read at a 10-year-old's level.
Experts offer a range of explanations for the test scores, from teachers that are not implementing the Common Core standards properly, which aim to boost U.S. students' competitiveness around the world, to limited school choice for students, school segregation, poverty, too much focus on test prep, and limited instruction on basic skills.
Those students may face tougher opportunities on the job market.
The countries that excelled in the survey were China, Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong, Estonia, Canada, Finland, and Ireland. The United Kingdom, Japan, and Australia students were roughly equal to the United States.